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(100,026 posts)
Mon Jun 6, 2016, 10:53 AM Jun 2016

John Oliver Makes TV History By Forgiving $15 Million In Medical Debt [View all]

As part of a scathing takedown of the debt-purchasing industry, late night comedian John Oliver forgave nearly $15 million of medical debt with a tap of a giant red button on Sunday night.

Oliver called the giveaway the "largest one-time giveaway in television history." He just about doubled the value of Oprah Winfrey's famous "You get a car! You get a car! Everybody gets a car!" giveaway to her entire studio audience in 2004.

The stunt followed a long look at debt collectors on his HBO show "Last Week Tonight," in which Oliver sharply rebuked debt purchasers for unscrupulous behavior that is limited by hardly any regulatory oversight. (HBO is owned by CNNMoney's parent company, Time Warner.)

The segment included a hidden camera brought into a Debt Buyers Association conference by "Last Week Tonight" staffers, which showed panelists appearing to scoff at how Americans don't understand their legal rights about paying their debts.

To further illustrate the lack of regulation and ease at which debt collectors can harass people over money they owe, Oliver said "Last Week Tonight" spent $50 to create its own debt collection agency, based in Mississippi.


Top that, Oprah!!!
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Thank you John Oliver for shining a light on this. think Jun 2016 #1
John Oliver with another beat down. sarcasmo Jun 2016 #2
thank you, john oliver. niyad Jun 2016 #3
occpuy wall street rolling jubilee is doing this, as well niyad Jun 2016 #4
It is a good deed in a cruel world that they do!. . . . . annabanana Jun 2016 #18
Great idea but Politicub Jun 2016 #23
What is a jubilee? mountain grammy Jun 2016 #36
thank you for that wonderful information. and for the reminder of how iceland handled the niyad Jun 2016 #46
They're not accepting donations as of 12/31/2013. nt valerief Jun 2016 #48
John Oliver's show copied the idea from Rolling Jubilee IronLionZion Jun 2016 #41
Marking. Thanks. underpants Jun 2016 #54
Almost as much as Bill got paid to help bring more students into debt... modestybl Jun 2016 #5
Awwwww zappaman Jun 2016 #7
Thanks John Mark 750 Jun 2016 #6
I think our government should pass a law ToxMarz Jun 2016 #8
If we had Medicare for All, people wouldn't get into this debt to begin with. nt valerief Jun 2016 #34
Exactly. There are no medical bankruptcies in countries with universal coverage pberq Jun 2016 #43
I've never understood why insurance companies TexasBushwhacker Jun 2016 #44
Oh Shit!!! :D :D :D DetlefK Jun 2016 #9
What a great humanitarian felix_numinous Jun 2016 #10
All the debt in the US could be forgiven this way by billionaires... ALL of it if they bought for MillennialDem Jun 2016 #14
And the trillions overseas felix_numinous Jun 2016 #17
Oprah , should top that...why? nt. Stellar Jun 2016 #11
That was a joke. Initech Jun 2016 #15
... Cirque du So-What Jun 2016 #19
Because up until the airing of John's show, Oprah held the title for the largest Glassunion Jun 2016 #50
Whoa...thank you for sharing. Stellar Jun 2016 #51
Buying debt is a scandal. What a travesty the whole thing is. AllyCat Jun 2016 #12
Wonderful Man. MariaThinks Jun 2016 #13
Hoping this leads to much more light on this wretched business. DiehardLiberal Jun 2016 #16
Rather than welfare for corporations Scalded Nun Jun 2016 #20
This is gonna happen very soon with student debt... pbmus Jun 2016 #29
K & R. Thank you Jon Oliver, what a good man to help with this regressive, cruel system. appalachiablue Jun 2016 #21
Wow. That was amazing. This is a jewel of a man! Thank you Jon Stewart for finding him Feeling the Bern Jun 2016 #22
This is no way to run a health care system. Enthusiast Jun 2016 #24
dirty filthy democratic socialist nazi fascist! Gabi Hayes Jun 2016 #25
I don't like how the CNN article called this a "stunt". SpankMe Jun 2016 #26
Excellent idea pbmus Jun 2016 #28
What's wrong with "something unusual done to attract attention?" Nothing. Festivito Jun 2016 #31
Great post! NobodyInParticular Jun 2016 #38
Rolling Jubilee has been doing this for years IronLionZion Jun 2016 #42
Thanks to John Oliver .... pbmus Jun 2016 #27
I worked a few years in a county records department. tanyev Jun 2016 #30
If it weren't for comedians, we wouldn't get ANY real news on U.S. TV. valerief Jun 2016 #32
Not to push it John, but maybe, just maybe ET Awful Jun 2016 #33
Yep...gotta' give it to John Oliver... Thespian2 Jun 2016 #35
And it only cost him 60 grand. killbotfactory Jun 2016 #37
Yeah that was the most mind blowing part! Initech Jun 2016 #39
love, love, LOVE John Oliver! Skittles Jun 2016 #40
Yes wonderful that UglyGreed Jun 2016 #45
I watched that lunatica Jun 2016 #47
Cool. NaturalHigh Jun 2016 #49
Kick sarcasmo Jun 2016 #52
My recording ended 2 minutes early underpants Jun 2016 #53
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